AMBITIOUS plans to move Evesham’s Fire Station to allow an 18,000 sq foot Waitrose store to open have been overwhelmingly approved.
Members of Wychavon District Council planning committee voted to give the plans the green light last Thursday (February 5)
Under the plans, Evesham’s Fire Station will relocate next to the Evesham Leisure Centre on Abbey Road in order to provide a modern building for town firefighters.
The move will allow the supermarket giant to take posesssion of the fire station site and develop a large supermarket to boost Evesham’s town centre.
Members of Wychavon District Council were all in favour of the £10million project which has also won support from Evesham Town Council and Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority.
Speaking at the meeting, Station Commander, Rob Allen said: “Other available sites were too small and inaccessible and the new site on Abbey Road will have low moving and running costs which will provide overall improvements.”
“We’ll even look at redeveloping the contaminated land around our new site.”
Coun Frances Smith said: “This, I believe will stimulate the town centre and encourage other major businesses to take up opportunities in the town attracting greater foot-fall for the various attractions available.”
“This is a very exciting for Evesham, now let’s get on with developing this site for the benefit of the town and its residents.”
The plans will see the demolition of the current fire station in Merstow Green replaced by an 18,000 sq foot Waitrose expected to create 150 new jobs and 169 parking spaces.
Coun Gerry O’Donnell said: “The development of Waitrose will act as a significant catalyst to the redevelopment of the town centre itself.”
“It’ll also have a significant impact on drawing investment into Evesham which is very positive as the town centre is the vital point for regeneration.”
Construction is expected to start on the fire station this summer and is due to open spring 2016, while work on the Waitrose will begin in the summer of 2016 and expected to open shortly after in early 2017.